Anna's Reviews > Doppelgangster

Doppelgangster by Laura Resnick
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Mar 06, 12

bookshelves: fantasy
Read in April, 2011

This is the type of urban fantasy with enough of a comedic touch to keep it light, in the vein of Tanya Huff or Janet Evanovich. Despite being the second in the series, it works well as a standalone, probably at least in part because it switched publishers after book 1, which was put out by Mira. Very few of the characters have returned, which gives me mixed feelings. I really liked some of the characters in Disappearing Nightly, but given that this is an entirely different case, it makes sense that the gang from the first book wouldn't be involved and it's nice that Resnick didn't try to force them in.

As is the norm in urban fantasy, the voice of the book is the voice of the protagonist, as the thing is written in first person. Esther's observations and smart remarks are fun to read, and it's very nice to read a heroine who's smart enough to know when it's ok to voice these comments out loud and when it's best to keep her thoughts to herself. She doesn't try to endanger herself or others by irritating the wrong people with her wit. She did, however, occasionally drive me nuts with her inability to "get" something. It's an author's tool, using the protagonist's ignorance as an excuse to explain things to her readers, but there were a few points I felt we could have skipped the explanation or, at the very least, Esther should have been quicker on the uptake, especially considering this isn't her first foray into the paranormal. I mean, does the term "doppelgänger" really need to be explained? I'm pretty sure it's term mainstream enough even a newcomer to the fantasy genre would have heard it before.

In general, the mobster characters are full of stereotypes, but they're colourful stereotypes, and aging hitman Lucky is a welcome addition to the cast. A friend of Esther's, he adds some wonderful shades of grey to the story, a morally ambiguous character who is (this time) on the side of good. This arguably gives him more depth than Esther or Max, and I'd love to see him around again, although if the series follows the pattern it's shown between the first two books, I doubt he'll become a series regular.

As usual, Resnick's dialogue is great. She has a knack for banter, and given the different lingos spoken by different characters, there are some wonderful moments of confusion and misunderstanding.

I picked the book up hoping for something fun and entertaining, and Doppelgangster delivered exactly what I was looking for. There are at least two more in the series, and I do believe I'll have to add them to my collection.
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